Observations of Small Town Living (OOSTL)

Preventing forest fires by starting huge fires. We had 5 to 7 huge piles of brush and trees, called slash piles, to get rid of. This was the left overs from clearing our land for our driveway and house. The reason you need to burn them – to prevent forest fire. The method – FIRE! Our carbon footprint got a lot larger this past week. Here’s a shot of our local expert, Dale. I asked Dale to come and help make sure I wasn’t going to burn down my neighborhood shown in the back ground. To give some perspective, to his left is a 8 foot tall slash pile soon to be burned, and to his right is a burn in action. In the middle is the wood we were able to salvage and donate to another gentleman in church who will heat his house with next winter.

slash piles

This makes marshmallow bonfires look like child’s play. Dale’s pitch fork handle started melting from the heat and it was stuck in the ground about 10 feet away from the fire you see.  I can’t imagine what a real forest fire must be like.

But here, slash piles are relatively common. You simply head down to the local fire district office and ask for a free permit to burn stuff. They give you a 1 minute lecture, a sheet of paper and send you on your merry way to burn the fires of hell in our back yard. Note however, that even with Dale’s help, a fancy permit, and all my preperation, I have a lot to learn. After these piles were long gone, with the help of other folks from church we’d built up two more piles. Knowing that I wanted to get these started as early as possible I stuffed all kinds of newspaper in strategic positions throughout the piles so that I could get up, light the paper, go make coffee, and watch fire.

To my amazement, dew had formed on all the paper the next morning and it took an extra hour just to get that cup of coffee. Arg!

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